HomeSexual HealthThe Best Lube for Sex—Your Guide to the Slippery Stuff

The Best Lube for Sex—Your Guide to the Slippery Stuff

If you are going to have sex, especially penetrative sex, then you need to lube! You probably already know that using a good lube is critical to having incredible sex, but shopping for the right one can quickly become and overwhelming task. Not only are there different types of lube, there are a billion on the market. So how do you know which one is the the best lube for sex and which is the best lube for anal sex and which is the best lube for sensitive skin and so on. I’m gonna help you figure it out so that you can save your time and energy and focus on getting ready for your next sexual adventure.

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    Everything You Need to Know About The Different Types of Lubes

    Sexual Lubricants are categorized into three main types: water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based lubes. The following guide to lube breaks down what each are, when to use them, and their pros & cons:

    Water-Based Lubricants

    Water-based lubes are typically made from water, glycerin, and a thickening agent. Some water-based lubes may contain additional ingredients such as aloe vera or plant extracts for added moisture or sensation. Water-based lube is the best lube for sex toys and women and vulva owners with sensitive skin. Period.

    Pros of water-based lube:

    • Water-based lube is compatible with most sex toys and condoms. Other types of lube may cause sex toys and condoms to break down and either fail to work or degrade become bad for your intimate skin.
    • Water-based lube is easy to clean up and cleanup can be accomplished with water.
    • Water-based lube is less likely to cause irritation or cause allergic reactions.
    • These lubes can easily be reactivated with water or saliva if it starts to dry out.


    • Water-based lube doesn’t last as long and may need to be reapplied more frequently than other types of lubes.
    • They dry out faster, especially during prolonged sexual activity.
    • Water-based lube is not ideal for use in water (shower, bath, or pool) as they can wash away.

    When to use water-based lubricants

    Water-based lube is the best lube for sex that includes toys, condoms, and requires quick cleanup You will want a water-based lubricant as your go-to. You can used it during any kind of sex without having to worry about it ruining your toys, causing your condom to break or becoming sticky and messy so lots of clean up is required.

    My Favorite Water-Based Lubes!

    BLOOMI Smooth Lube

    I love BLOOMI! Their lubricant formulas are all plant-based and made without intimate skin allergens such as glycerin, gluten, phthalates, sulfates, parabens, alcohol, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances. This lube goes on smoothly (just like the name) and last a surprisingly long amount of time without leaving a sticky residue.


    pjur water based lube

    pjur® WOMAN Nude

    pjur® WOMAN Nude is a water-based personal lubricant without any additives. It doesn’t contain glycerin, parabens, paraffins, fat, synthetic color or preservatives. This lovely lubricant moisturizes, leaving your skin feeling silky smooth and helps protect dry skin. It is dermatology tested and ideal for use with sex toys.


    Gleam water based lube

    Gleam Sex Toy and Partner Play Water Based Lubricant

    I love the way Gleam feels! It is formulated using purely sea-kelp-based glycerin and designed to provide a silky smooth, and comforting glide with no sticky or tacky residue.


    Silicone-Based Lubricants

    Silicone-based lubes are composed of silicone polymers, which provide a slippery and long-lasting lubricating effect. They have a smooth and silky texture.


    • Silicone-based lube is a Longer-lasting lubrication than water-based alternatives and require less reapplication. Its the best lube for extended sexual experiences.
    • You can use silicone-based lube in water for water play as they do not dissolve or wash away easily.
    • Silicone-based lube can provide a more slippery and gliding sensation.
    • Silicone-based lube provides a thicker consistency than water-based lubes.


    • They are not compatible with silicone-based sex toys as they can degrade the material.
    • Silicone-based lube may stain sheets or clothing, as it is not easily washed out.
    • Some people may find the texture too slick or less natural feeling.

    When to use silicone-based lubes

    Silicone-based lube is the best lube for sex in the shower, bath or any other body of water. They are also great when playing with a cock or glass or steel toys. They last longer, and offer a thick consistency that can make sex more comfortable, especially for those with sensitive or dry vulvas and vaginas. This kind of lube is also great for Silicone-based lubes make anal penetration more comfortable and you won’t have to reapply often.

    The following are my favorite silicone based lubes!

    überlube Silicone Lubricant

    This lube is truly luxurious. It comes in a beautiful bottle that looks nice on the dresser and it is silky smooth going on and leaves absolutely no residue. Fun fact: You can use it as a body product for anti-chafing reasons, and in your hair as an anti-frizz product! It’s scent and color free and works perfectly with a woman’s PH.


    wicked silicone lube

    Wicked Silicone Lube

    This might be a bit of a cheat because it is a hybrid. But, whatever. Look, I love the Wicked brand. They have a suite of lubes that are incredible and this silicone/water hybrid glides like it’s just a silicone-based lube.


    Oil-Based Lubricants

    Looking forward to a long night of vigorous sex? You might want to consider an oil-based lubricant. Oil-based lubes are made from natural oils (e.g., coconut oil, almond oil) and provide a slick and long-lasting lubrication. They can be beneficial for people with sensitive skin or those who prefer a thicker texture.

    Pros of Oil-Based Lubricants:

    • Oil-based lubes tend to provide long-lasting lubrication, which can be beneficial for extended and vigorous sexual activities especially if reapplication kills the mood.
    • Oil-based lubes typically have a thicker texture, which adds comfort cushioning and during sexual activity.
    • Many oil-based lubricants are made from natural oils, such as coconut oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil. These are appealing for individuals seeking a more natural lubrication option.
    • Oil-based lubes can help moisturize and nourish the skin. This is a big boon for individuals with dry or sensitive skin.

    Cons of Oil-Based Lubricants:

    • Incompatibility with Latex: One of the significant drawbacks of oil-based lubes is that they are not compatible with latex condoms or latex-based sex toys. The oils can degrade latex, leading to condom breakage or reduced effectiveness in preventing STIs and unintended pregnancies.
    • Difficult to Clean: Oil-based lubes are more challenging to clean off the body, sheets, or other surfaces. They can leave a residue and may require additional effort to wash off effectively.
    • Staining: Some oil-based lubes, especially those with natural oils, can stain fabrics and may cause discoloration or damage to sheets or clothing.
    • Potential Allergies and Sensitivities: Although natural oils are generally well-tolerated, some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to specific oils. It’s important to perform a patch test before using an oil-based lube to check for any adverse reactions.

    When to use oil-based lubes

    Oil-based lubes are incredible for in that they can double as a sensual massage oil. So choose them when you want to turn a sensual massage into a slippery sex session. Oil-based lubes are perfect for water play and vigorous penetrative sex and masturbation.

    Here are my favorite oil-based lubes!

    BLOOMI Delight Lube

    BLOOMI again for the win! This oil-based lube is made out of coconut oil, sunflower seed oil and shea butter. It doesn’t feel greasy and did not stain my clothes or sheets. Again, BLOOMI creates a superior product. I highly recommend it.


    best lube for sex

    Coconu Lube

    From foreplay to the main event, you’ll wonder how you ever did without Coconu. This coconut based lube is refreshing and sexy.


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    Annette Benedetti
    Annette Benedetti
    Annette is a writer, editor and photographer from Portland, OR. Her work appears in a variety of publications including Bust, Red Tricycle, Motherly and Domino. When she’s away from her desk she can be found teaching women yoga at wilderness retreats, exploring new cities across the states and hiking the trails at Mt. Rainier—one of her favorite places on earth.